893.00/5508: Telegram

The Chargé in Japan ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State


227. Foreign Minister Shidehara in the course of a conversation today told me informally that Japan intended to keep neutral with respect to the present struggle in China. … He spoke of reports published in newspapers here alleging that Wu Pei-fu was backed by; the United States and Chang Tso-lin by Japan. Both of these reports, he said, were obviously incorrect, and he expressed the hope that they would not gain credence in America. … Shidehara also referred to London press despatches printed here to the effect that the British and American Governments were exchanging views on the position to be taken in the present situation. He quickly added that he had not considered such reports to be of much importance.

Shidehara told me as I was leaving that he is disposed to treat me with perfect frankness and would keep me informed of the situation should his Government find it necessary to take action to protect Japanese interests in China.

I have informed Peking.